Counterfeit Goods Seizure Act of 2019.

pexels-photo-3379903

Photo by Florian Köppen on Pexels.com

In early December 2019, the Counterfeit Goods Seizure Act of 2019 was introduced in the U.S. Senate to allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to enforce design patents at the border.

Currently, Customs has the power to enforce only copyrights and trademarks that have been previously recorded with Customs under Section 1595a(c)(2)(C) of Title 19 of the U.S. Code.

The new bill amends amending 19 U.S.C. § 1595a(c)(2)(C) to allow Customs discretionary power to seize and detain imported goods that infringe upon a recorded U.S. design patent.

The reason for this bill is because counterfeiters are capable of producing nearly 1 to 1 replicas of goods that avoid seizure by Customs because the counterfeit goods do not include the infringing trademark.

For example, in 2018, counterfeiters imported over $70 million in fake Nike shoes similar to the Air Jordan line and avoided customs by not including the trademarked logos – not surprisingly, Nike is one prominent supporter of the new bill.

If the bill passes, future counterfeit Air Jordan shoes omitting any trademarked labels would be subject to seizure as Customs would now be able to enforce design patents.

If you have had a seizure for suspected violations of intellectual property or trademarks, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Customs seizes $32,000 in currency from travelers.

SAT Currency Seizure 2

Image of seized unreported currency, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection media release, CBP officers working at the San Antonio International Airport carried out 2 seizures of currency currency from travelers who under reported the amount of currency they were carrying.

In the first seizure, CBP officers stopped a pair of travelers arriving from Mexico. The travelers individually reported they were carrying less than $10,000, but upon subsequent questioning by CBP, admitted they divided the money amongst each other to get below the $10,000 threshold. This agreement among parties to divide the money amongst themselves is known as “structuring” in the eyes of Customs. The total amount seized from the two travelers totaled $14,807.

Similarly, in the second seizure, 2 Mexican nationals were detained and questioned regarding the amount of currency they were carrying. Both individuals reported carrying below the $10,000 threshold amount, however, they both admitted they divided the currency before boarding the flight. The combined amount of currency totaled $17,200.

In short, the two take aways are to always report how much currency you are carrying and to answer all questions by CBP truthfully.

Other tips to avoid currency seizures:

  1. Always declare any amounts you have.
  2. Always declare any currency (regardless of denomination), monetary instruments such as checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, etc.
  3. If you are traveling in a group, count the group as one.

While not mentioned, I believe the travelers were alerted to CBP by trained dogs and then the travelers were followed on camera prior to the flight.

“Travelers are provided multiple opportunities to mak

If you or someone you know have had their hard earned currency seized by Customs, contact experienced currency seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Invasive Gypsy Moth Eggs stopped by CBP.

BAL Xmas AGM2 122519.jpg

Image of the seized gypsy moth eggs, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP agriculture specialists found Japanese gypsy moth eggs on ocean freighters.

The eggs were found aboard the “Royal Hope” freighter and were removed by the ship’s crew and CBP agriculture specialists. The affected areas with the eggs were also sprayed by CBP with a pest spray oil.

These Japanese gypsy moth eggs are part of the overall Asian Gypsy Moth that damages trees and plants due to their big appetites. Additionally, the gypsy moth females are very mobile and travel up to 25 miles per day and can also lay egg masses that produce hundreds of hungry caterpillars.

Fortunately, there are no known infestations of the asian gypsy moth.

In the media release, CBP said the “Royal Hope” freighter from Ghent, Belgium was to pick up coal for export and prior to leaving Belgium, the royal Hope made a port call in Japan where they removed adult moths and egg masses prior to issuing a certificate clearing the vessel to depart.

If you or someone you know has received a notice from customs for suspected pests such as the asian gympsy moth (or any other invasive pest), contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.